Vonage, Si! WRT54GP2, No!
We got Vonage phone service at home a few weeks ago, and it has been just great. For $27.24/month total cost, we get unlimited calls to the US and Canada, with caller ID, voicemail, and all of the custom calling features the phone company offers and then some. I especially like the simultaneous call forwarding, where incoming calls ring both the Vonage line and another number (such as a cellphone) at the same time, and I can pick up the call on either one. The service works with our existing phones, and we are porting our old landline phone number to Vonage.
I found out about Vonage while shopping for a router at Circuit City. (Don’t laugh, it’s the closest store with a decent selection of computer stuff.) I was going to get another Linksys WRT54G, but then I saw they had the WRT54GP2 combo router and phone interface, so I got that instead. I figured with the router and phone interface combined, I wouldn’t have to worry about any quality of service (QoS) issues.
Big mistake. The first WRT54GP2 wouldn’t work at all. I spent an hour on the phone with Vonage tech support with no success. The replacement worked fine, but there was a problem in the sound quality that I couldn’t stand: a constant background noise similar to the sound a 56K modem makes after it’s connected. I thought, “This is what Vonage sounds like? It stinks!”
I got back on the phone with Vonage hoping they could do something about this, but the problem wasn’t with their network, it was noise being generated inside the unit itself. Even with nothing plugged into the WRT54GP2 but a phone and power, I could hear the noise. Reviewers on Amazon and elsewhere have noted the same problem.
So back this went and I got a regular WRT54G router and a separate PAP2 phone interface. The WRT54G connects to the cable modem as usual, and the PAP2 sits behind it on the LAN side. I updated the WRT54G to the latest firmware, which does support QoS, so I could give priority to the port the PAP2 is plugged into, and we were off and running with fine sound quality and hardly any background noise.